Chenin Blancs to Savor

Forty years ago, there was a vast amount of California Chenin Blanc vineyards. Many wineries like Charles Krug made a ton of Chenin Blanc. In 1996, Charles Krug pulled the plug on Chenin Blanc. Now it is just in a handful of wineries and a small amount of acreage in the Napa Valley. Here is a list of 23 producers of California Chenin Blanc.

In the Loire Valley of France, Chenin Blanc, along with Sauvignon Blanc, are the two principal grapes of the region.

The fantastic Chateau de Cheverny in the Loire – the land of Chateaus, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc

Chenin Blanc is special-occasion wine. It is crisp, aromatic, and low in alcohol. That calls for light food, including picnic food. Chenin Blanc is the classic outdoor wine. When one pops open a Chenin Blanc, there is a rush of freshness that comes to mind.

The Vintage Wine Tasters spent the last two weeks tasting various Chenin Blanc wines from California, South Africa, and the Loire Valley. Here are the ones we liked and why you should try them. Spring is near and fun days are ahead!

Two California Chenin Blancs

These two Chenin Blanc wines are popular choices and for good reason. They are crisp and aromatic, and excellent with light foods.

  • The Husch Chenin Blanc is from the Anderson Valley in Mendocino. Wine taster Joe F states this wine takes him back to the 1970s when he enjoyed drinking Charles Krug Chenin Blanc. Available at Total Wines for $11. Best Buy
  • 2019 Dry Creek Vineyards Clarksburg Chenin Blanc – Although the winery is in the Dry Creek AVA of Sonoma, all the grapes are from the Clarksburg area of Yolo County. Three of us tried this Chenin Blanc. It is an old standby. Vintage after vintage, this wine is an excellent example of the style of Vouvray Chenin Blanc. It is available at several shops for around $13. Best Buy

South Africa Chenin Blanc

  • 2016 Mullineaux Family Wines Old Vines – 62% Chenin Blanc, and a blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier and Semillon. The wine is nicely balanced and has more body than other Chenin Blancs – Delicious. Weimax Wines $30.
  • 2019 Rustenberg Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch – a good Chenin Blanc, but not as tasty as the Dry Creek Chenin Blanc for about the same price. $14 at KL Wines

Loire Valley – Vouvray Wines

  • 2018 Cave de Saumur – floral notes with fresh apple and lemon. Crisp and refreshing. Weimax Wines $18. Highly recommended by Vintage Taster George
  • 2019 Champalou Vouvray – nice balance, slightly dry, slightly fruity, a little tart; opens up and has a good mouth feel -Weimax $21.99
  • 2018 Chateau D’Epire – slightly dry, slightly fruity, a little tart, and good mouthfeel – Weimax $24.99
  •  2017 Bourillon Dorleans – reflects the minerality of the dryer Chenin Blanc wines. Its bouquet is grapefruit tinged, and the palate feel is dry but also smooth. It is a good choice for anyone who would be introduced to a white wine with dinner – Table Wine Merchant  $13.99.
  • 2018 Domaine Pichot Vouvray Le Peu de la Moriette – Perhaps the star of the tastings, with three members recommending this Vouvray wine. About $14 at several wine shops. Best Buy

We hope that our readers are not missing out on Chenin Blanc. It’s always an excellent idea to keep a few bottles on hand. On a beautiful sunny afternoon, a Chenin Blanc will add much to the day.

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